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Follow up appointments

Find out about follow up appointments and tests after treatment for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma).

Why you have follow up appointments

You usually have follow up appointments every few months to check how you are and see whether you have any problems or worries. The appointments also give you the chance to raise any concerns you have about your progress.

What happens

Your doctor or nurse examines you at each appointment. They ask how you are feeling, whether you have had any symptoms or side effects, and if you are worried about anything.

You might also have tests at some visits.

Tests include:

  • a CT scan of your chest, tummy (abdomen) and the area between your hips (pelvis)
  • blood tests

Blood tests help check your general health, such as how well your liver is working. Your doctor might also check for levels of CEA and CA19-9 in your blood. These can be used as tumour markers. If the levels go up it could be a sign that the cancer is growing, or has come back after surgery.

How often

How often you have follow up appointments can vary between hospitals and depends on your situation. 

If you had treatment to try to cure your cancer, you are likely to have follow up appointments every 3 to 6 months for the first 5 years, and then yearly after that.

Between appointments

Contact your doctor or specialist nurse if you have any concerns between appointments. You should also contact them if you notice any new symptoms. You don’t have to wait until your next visit.
Last reviewed: 
22 Feb 2018
  • Biliary cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow up
    JW Valle and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2016. Volume 27, Pages 28-37

  • Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of cholangiocarcinoma: an update
    SA Khan and others 
    Gut, 2012. Volume 61, Pages 1657-1669

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